By Bud Hennekes
What do Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and J.K Rowling have in common?
They each have a net worth of over a billion dollars.
Want to know what else they have in common?
They read. A lot.
The other day, Bill Gates joined the Reddit community to participate in a Reddit thread Ask Me Anything. In it, he shared a list of books he has recently read and reviewed.
The list went on and on and on.
How can that happen? How can a guy as busy as Bill Gates find so much time to read?
Or better yet, why does Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban insist on spending three hours every single day reading?
Because successful people read.
Growing up, J.K Rowling would read everything she could get her hands on. No surprise she was able to become the first billionaire writer ever.
Thomas Edison loved reading. So did Albert Einstein. Hilary Clinton too.
Pick any person you respect and admire and I’m willing to bet a significant amount of money that they spend an incredible amount of time reading.
Even branding legend Gary Vaynerchuk, who has openly admitted he’s not a fan of reading books, spends hours each day combing the web to stay on top of technology and marketing trends.
Coincidence? I think not.
Sure you have to work hard, make the right connections, and have an element of luck. But reading is a must.
Will it guarantee success? Of course not. Does reading take time? Yes.
The reality is: successful people read. Period.
What’s your excuse?
By John Steely
Many people, in many places, teach how to reach goals. Among the practices taught, writing goals down is one of the most repeated instructions. There is ample evidence that written goals are attained more often than goals not written down, and this fact is all that is given to explain why to write goals down. However, very few people attempt to explain why writing goals down works, so let us investigate that aspect of attaining goals.
What Is Written Down
When you are told to write your goals down, you need to be clear on what is being asked of you. What is it that you are supposed to write down? The most common instruction is to write down the SMART properties of your goals. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, As If Now, Relevant, and Timely.
A Specific goal is one that you clearly understand and which can be clearly explained to another; the more details you have about the goal, the more specific the goal. A Measurable goal is one that you can decide quickly and definitively whether you have attained the goal or not; while a path of progress is not required, it can be very helpful in making a goal measurable. A “As If Now” goal is one you feel you have already attained; the more you visualize the goal as being achieved, the more this “As If Now” quality is present. A Relevant goal is one congruent with your beliefs and principles. Finally, a Timely goal. is one with a deadline.
So writing a goal down means to the work at and write out, to the best of your ability, each of these five qualities of the goal. The format you use is personal; what is important is that you write them down.
Writing Involves Senses
Writing something down involves several senses, which means that several physical parts of the body are engaged. By engaging the hands, eyes, and maybe the ears, you are providing activity which can be remembered at a physical level, which improves the mental memory strength. You can take advantage of this strength through strong visualization, since an imagined event has the same impact on the nerves and muscles as a real event.
A logical, or even emotional thought, affects the memory from a single direction, the mind. When the body is involved through action, whether that action is real or imagined, the memory is affected from a second direction, which increases the probability that the goal will be retained in memory.
Writing Demands Clarity
By writing the goal down, you are forcing yourself to make the goal clear enough to put into words. By using words, you are making the concepts involved clear to you; if you want to really take advantage of this characteristic of writing, imagine that someone else, someone you do not even know, is reading and explaining your words.
Many people have a good idea, but they cannot express that idea in words. By going through the effort to get the words, you make the ambiguous aspects specific, and the unclear characteristics become known. Again, to take full advantage of this technique, have someone else read what you have written to check your clarity.
Writing is Permanent
By writing your goal down, you are making the goal a (somewhat) permanent part of your existence. You are giving a level of commitment to that goal. You have staked a claim. You may change your mind later on, but for right now you have made a commitment. This permanency makes the goal more powerful and a stronger part of your existence. That means you are more likely to give the time, energy, and effort needed to reach the goal.
For these reasons, and more, a written goal is much more likely to be achieved that a goal that is merely stated to someone else. Take advantage of this fact and make your goals more likely to be achieved, and thus you will lead a more successful life.
By Youarn Bell
Think about a goal that you’ve set and that you either haven’t reached or took much longer to reach than really necessary. Was everything that you did taking you in the direction of your goal? When you did something that took you in a slightly different direction, did you course-correct or did you continue on that course? Did you take responsibility for not reaching your goal, or did you look to blame it on something or someone else?
Here are the keys to keeping yourself on track, to making sure you’re on the right path to reaching your destination as quickly as possible.
- 1. Choose and be extremely clear on your goal. The more you understand what your goal is, why you want it, what achieving it will do for you and those around you, the easier it will be to keep an arrow-like focus on it. Ask yourself the questions that give you an emotional response so you can see, hear and feel what the end result would be. What would you be telling yourself when you achieve it? This kind of clarity is what keeps you on course when the hurdles and challenges come up. This process is deciding on your destination.
- 2. Plan the path you need to take to travel to your destination. Plan the path that directs your journey in the most fulfilling and enjoyable way to get to your destination. It’s no good planning a path that is unsustainable or not enjoyable – you’ll do it for a day or so and then quit. Conspire for your success! Plan a path that is ecological – good for you, good for others and good for the greater good. This process is deciding and understanding your direction.
- 3. Continue to remind yourself why you’re striving for your goal. This is so important. This, I believe, is where people fall down most – forgetting their ‘why’. The more often you are reminded of why you are doing something, the more often you can see yourself having achieved it, the more often you can feel what you would feel when you’ve done it – the stronger the chances are that you’ll keep pushing towards your goal.
- 4. Course-correct if you hit a hurdle. Hitting a hurdle doesn’t mean failure. When a plane flying to Hawaii hits turbulence and is bumped off course a little, they don’t abandon the flight or turn back and start again. The pilot re-adjusts the course of the plane so that they still arrive at Hawaii. The hurdles are built in to life. If you hit a hurdle, acknowledge the hurdle. Learn from it. Adjust your course and remind yourself of your ‘why’.
- 5. Never, EVER give up! You created the goal for a reason. You created it because you wanted something better in your life. Something to aspire to, something to claim victory over – yourself or something external to you. Your reason is why you start, continue and finish. Never lose sight of it and never give up. Giving up will allow you to make excuses and leave you crawling rather thanwalking.
I guarantee that if you follow these 5 keys to achieving your goals, if you remain clear on your ‘why’, travel in the direction that leads to where you want to go and course correct when needed, as long as you don’t give up you’ll be reaching more goals more often than ever before.
Now get up off the floor and start walking!
Many people, while trying to achieve their goal, forget the objective for which the goal is pursued. They largely focus on the goal itself and ignore the “objective” for which they are trying to achieve that particular goal.
Goal can be described as something you want to acquire or achieve, but objective of the goal is the “purpose” for which you want to achieve or acquire it.
For example, one’s goal could be to earn a lot of money, own a big house, a big car, have comfort and luxury, have a name, fame, status, recognition etc., but the objective to acquire these things is to gain happiness and live peacefully.
The question is: is everybody who has earned a lot of money and who owns a big house with all the possible luxuries happy in life? Or is it that the people who do not own any or all of these things are unhappy? If there is clarity on the objective for which a goal is being pursued, then irrespective of whether or not one earns a lot of money or owns a big house, one will still try to be happy as s/he knows that life’s objective is to be happy and not merely to be content with materialistic things.
One might have chosen money, bungalow or career as the medium to be happy. But if that does not give happiness then acquiring them becomes a waste. Once we realise that these things are just the “means” to be happy and not the “end” in itself, our happiness will not depend on them.
Another example could be when you have to travel from point A to point B in your city. Ideally, you may choose a medium to reach your destination in the shortest time and in a comfortable manner. But, eventually, your goal is not the medium through which you may travel but your destination. So even if you are not able to get the fastest mode of transport and a comfortable one, it should not matter how you reach your destination. You could go in an an autorickshaw, taxi, Mercedes, or it could be on foot. What should solely matter to you is the objective — getting to point B.
Hence, it is imperative that more than the goal to acquire something the objective for acquiring it is more important. This should be crystal clear. We need to consciously gauge ourselves — are we, unknowingly, assuming our path to be our objective? If yes, we need to correct it and remind ourselves of the ultimate objective.
By Jim Rohn
Of all the things that can have an effect on your future, I believe personal growth is the greatest. We can talk about sales growth, profit growth, asset growth, but all of this probably will not happen without personal growth. It’s really the open door to it all. In fact I’d like to have you memorize a most important phrase. Here it is, “The major key to your better future is YOU.” Let me repeat that. “The major key to your better future is YOU.” Put that someplace you can see it every day, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, at the office, anywhere where you can see it every day. The major key to your better future is YOU. Try to remember that every day you live and think about it. The major key is YOU.
Now, there are many things that will help your better future. If you belong to a strong, dynamic, progressive company, that would help. If the company has good products and services you are proud of, that would certainly help. If there were good sales aids, that would help, good training would certainly help. If there is strong leadership, that will certainly help. All of these things will help, and of course, if it doesn’t storm, that will help. If your car doesn’t break down, that will help. If the kids don’t get sick, that will help. If the neighbors stay halfway civil, that will help. If your relatives don’t bug you, that will help. If it isn’t too cold, if it isn’t too hot, all those things will help your better future. And if prices don’t go much higher and if taxes don’t get much heavier, that will help. And if the economy stays stable, those things will all help. We could go on and on with the list; but remember this, the list of things that I’ve just covered and many more—all put together—play a minor role in your better future.
The major key to your better future is you. Lock your mind onto that. This is a super-important point to remember. The major key is you. A friend of mine has always answered when asked, “How do you develop an above-average income?” by saying, “Simple. Become an above-average person. Work on you.” My friend says, “Develop an above-average handshake.” He says, “A lot of people want to be successful, and they don’t even work on their handshake. As easy as that would be to start, they let it slide. They don’t understand.” My friend says, “Develop an above-average smile. Develop an above-average excitement. Develop an above-average dedication. Develop an above-average interest in other people.” He says, “To have more, become more.” Remember; work harder on yourself than you do on your job. For a long time in my life, I didn’t have this figured out.
Strangely enough, with two different people in the same company, one may earn an extra $100 a month, and the other may earn a $1,000. What could possibly be the difference? If the products were the same, if the training was the same, if they both had the same literature, the same tools. If they both had the same teacher, the same compensation plan, if they both attended the same meetings, why would one person earn the $100 per month and the other person earn the $1,000? Remember, here is the difference: The difference is personal—inside, not outside, inside.
You see the real difference is inside you. In fact, the difference IS you. Someone once said, “The magic is not in the products. The magic is not in the literature. The magic is not in the film. There isn’t a magic meeting, but the magic that makes things better is inside you.” And personal growth makes this magic work for you.
The magic is in believing. The magic is in daring. The magic is in trying. The real magic is in persevering. The magic is in accepting. It’s in working. The magic is in thinking. There is magic in a handshake. There is magic in a smile. There is magic in excitement and determination. There is real magic in compassion and caring and sharing. There is unusual magic in strong feeling. You see, all that comes from inside, not outside. So the difference is inside you. The real difference is you. You are the major key to your better future.
By Frank Purdy
Have you ever heard that “Success is a journey, not a destination” ?
It is very important to have a law of life to base your life on. A law of life that means a lot to me is; Success is a journey, not a destination. It means that what matters is not necessarily where you are at the end, but what you accomplish while you are trying along the way. It means that no matter what, as long as you try, you can never fail. It means you can learn from your mistakes and continue on the next journey a little wiser.
One person I believe that shares my law of life is Mark McGwire. He didn’t get caught up in the home-run chase in the 1998 season, but instead played every game in the best way he could. And, most of the time, he helped his team. He didn’t just go out there and hit home runs because he wanted to be ahead in the end, but because he wanted to make it a good season for his teammates and him.
I also think the 1999-2000 St. Louis Rams as a whole are utilizing my law of life. They play every game with their full potential instead of letting a few winning games go to their heads. They stay focused on playing in the Super Bowl. They know that even if they don’t go journey. Even though they lost some games, they didn’t give up.
It doesn’t matter if you do not have the ability to be on top in the end, to win the championship; all that matters is that you worked hard the whole time. There are a few people in the world who already understand what it means. They understand that success is a journey, not a destination. But wouldn’t it be a much better world if everyone did, if everyone would realize that someone will win and someone will lose, but what’s important is that both sides need to try their best? After all, it’s not who wins or loses, but how well you play the game, and I hope I have applied this in my own life.